Author Topic: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR  (Read 14229 times)

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2013, 06:52:17 AM »
Ultimately, it's YOUR AAR, so do with it as you please. We're just along for the ride. :)

Offline Martok

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2013, 08:31:20 AM »
Chapter Two:  Neighbors




While the crew of the Sakai embarked on their survey mission and the Tinalynn began terraforming Pluto, we temporarily turned our thoughts -- however reluctantly -- to somewhat more mundane (but no less important) matters. 



One of the first things to be dealt with was the question of where to next focus our research efforts.  Despite the dramatic improvements made over the last half-century, Humanity's needs remained many and varied, especially where exploration & possible colonization of the galaxy was concerned. 



[The research screen.  In BOTF, it's generally best to put all your available research points into a single technology field at a time.  Construction is almost always a good first choice.] 

After much debate, the Science Ministry decided to devote most of its funding to coming up with better construction technologies.  For all that the new Mass Replicators had revolutionized industrial production & manufacturing, it often still took an inordinately long time to produce certain goods & materials -- particularly those needed by our nascent spaceship-building industries.  With our existing infrastructure, it had taken well over a decade to construct the Sakai and Tinalynn, and it didn't take a genius to recognize that such long build times simply wouldn't be practical. 



Also toward that end, we began a major new expansion of our industrial & educational base.  Happily, this coincided with the Sol system beginning to see a significant rise in its young adult population -- thanks to an extended, "rolling" baby boom that had itself coincided with Earth's (at first shaky, but then steadily gaining) recovery from WW3 -- virtually all of whom would be attending post-secondary schools or going straight into the workforce. 



[The Sol system's colony view under the "Production" tab.  I already have enough Automated Farms to feed the system's potential total population -- 410 million once Pluto is terraformed (no, the game's population numbers aren't entirely "realistic") -- but I'm short on just about everything else. 

Usually, my first priority is to get more of my people into research.  Personally, I generally aim to have about 1/4 of my home system's total population wearing lab coats, which would be 10 population units in the case of Sol (out of a total of 41).  Since I only have 6 Universities at the moment, that means I'll need to build 4 more. 

Toward that end, I'm "quick-buying" a Mass Replicator, as just one more will allow me to build Universities in 2 turns instead of 3.  At this early stage, I consider that an acceptable trade-off for the expense. 

Once the Universities are built, I'll then turn to expanding factory output.  In my home system, I devote about half my population to industry; in the case of Sol, that translates to me needing to build 10 more Mass Replicators.]




In the meantime, the Sakai's journey had already been tremendously successful:  In what we've since named the Altec star system, the crew discovered not only several planets that can be made habitable with our current technology -- including a couple L-class "jungle" worlds that are especially robust with native life-forms (although sadly none are sentient) -- but significant dilithium deposits as well!  While not immediately useful, there's no denying that extra sources of dilithium will be vital to our dreams for exploring and colonizing the space around us.  Although no decision would be made right away, the government's Frontier Settlement Agency tentatively tagged the Altec system as a high priority for colonization. 



[The Altec star system, immediately to the south of Sol.  With a total potential population of 340 million, it's an okay size, but nothing special.  (In the BOP mod, good-sized systems are more in the 360-410 range, with especially large ones topping out at 420 or more.)  Thus, Altec actually isn't a "must-have" for me at the moment.  However, I'll still grab it before too long, thanks to its dilithium deposits.]



As amazing as this discovery was, however, it was ironically the Tinalynn's crew whose journey sent Humanity first into shock...and then euphoria. 


After finishing its (ultimately successful) terraforming mission at Pluto -- incredibly, people were already starting to migrate there -- it was decided that the Tinalynn would be temporarily utilized as an exploration vehicle as well.  This decision (understandably) frustrated some who felt that it should have immediately been loaded up with colonists and sent to Altec or one of the other nearby star systems the Sakai had since visited; however, the FSA had already made it clear it was not going to determine where Humanity's first extra-solar colony would be established until all star systems within range had first been surveyed. 

Since the Sakai was already exploring the northern & western portions of the region around Sol, Starfleet dispatched the Tinalynn in the other direction.  The crew's first destination was a hot white star two sectors directly "east" of us; our scanners indicated there were probably a number of small rocky planets that could be habitable there. 

Needless to say, that turned out to be an understatement. 



[Simple-minded in some ways, yet also possessing a definite (if unsophisticated) intelligence, the Pakleds are unquestionably one of the "comic relief" races in the Star Trek universe.  Partially because of this, I tend a feel a certain affection for these guys in BOTF, especially when playing as the Feds.] 




[The Pakleds' star system.  It's pretty decent. 

Notably, of the game's 30 minor races, they're one of the 10 that build their own ships.  Subsequently, their star system always has dilithium and a shipyard -- a significant bonus for anyone who can get the Pakleds to join them...]




Needless to say, Earth went absolutely bonkers when it was announced we had encountered another sentient species, to say nothing of one that was capable of interstellar travel like ourselves.  After all the the centuries of wondering, of asking ourselves the question, "Are we alone in the universe?", we at last had our answer. 

To be sure, the Pakleds did not precisely meet the expectations of those who'd anticipated a "first contact" situation: slow of speech, and seemingly of simple needs & desires, it seemed a minor miracle they'd ever managed to achieve even spaceflight, much less crack the secret of warp drive.  (It's been speculated they may have somehow obtained the technology from someone else; the Pakleds' own records regarding the subject are either vague and incomplete.)  On the other hand, they did not have the same history of intra-species brutality that we had (although it appears that, like us, they *did* learn about the effects of rampant industrialization the hard way), so we were certainly not more "advanced" than they were from a social aspect. 

As for their attitude towards humanity, if the Pakleds weren't overly friendly, neither were they hostile.  In fact, they exhibited an open and almost childlike curiosity about us that was almost impossible to not find charming.  Indeed, some suspected this might be partially an act, as they do have something of an, ah, acquisitive nature -- they are always looking for things that can "make them go, make them strong ". 

Still and all, it's very difficult to not like the Pakleds.  And despite our best intentions to not adopt a superior attitude towards them (or any other sentient species), we seem to have already begun developing a certain protective bearing where they're concerned.  If nothing else, though, it was generally agreed it would probably be worthwhile to pursue a stronger relationship with them.  This task was designated as the chief priority for the Foreign Minister and the newly-formed Diplomatic Corps...



...And some prioritizing certainly needed to be done, as shortly afterward we met another species! 


We had just begun to recover (if that's the word for it) from our meeting the Pakleds when we encountered another alien civilization just two months later.  The USS Sakai moved back ahead of the Tinalynn for bragging rights when, moving into a star system a couple sectors northwest of Sol, they received a signal from a people calling themselves "Anticans". 



[I have to confess, I don't know that I ever saw the TNG episode ("Lonely Among us") in which these folks are featured (along with their enemies the Selay, who are also a minor race in BOTF).  I just always think of them as the "dog people". 

In the game, the Anticans are among the majority of minors that don't build ships, and are generally unremarkable.  Their unique structure (every minor race has one) grants them a bonus to ground combat when defending against an invasion of their world, and -- in the BOP mod -- a morale bonus (in their home system) as well.  Nice, but still rather "meh" overall. 

In both the vanilla game and BOP, the Anticans start with a neutral stance toward the Federation.  However, I've altered them so that they start out "uncooperative" toward the Feds, which is a step below.  Being one of the more martial-oriented minor races, I felt it would be odd if they didn't start out at least a little hostile toward humanity.]
 




[Although lacking dilithium (which isn't surprising -- not more than about 30% of the star systems in BOP have any), the Anticans' star system is otherwise actually a little nicer than the Pakleds'.  Definitely worth getting a hold of!] 


The Anticans were decidedly not thrilled about meeting us, but overall seemed to harbor no ill-intent.  They mentioned something about an ancient conflict with another species called the Selay.  We got the impression this was the focus of virtually all their energies & effort, and that they cared about little else. 

It was decided to leave them be for the time being, but it was also felt that something should be done eventually.  That much longstanding animosity can't be healthy for a people, and it's entirely possible it could even be (mis?)directed toward us at some point in the future.  Either way, we'll want to be especially careful with them. 



After the collective excitement of meeting not just one, but two, alien civilizations in so short a period of time, it was almost with a sense of relief that at least for a time, we turned our attention back to internal matters.  Between the two, the Sakai and Tinalynn had finally finished exploring all the star systems within range, and the FSA had finally determined where our first colony outside of Sol was to be located.  The choice was, for many, both a surprising and somewhat controversial one... 





[Thus concludes Chapter Two!  Hopefully this one was a little more of an interesting read than the first entry. 


I have to admit, it was a heck of a surprise to run into both the Pakleds and Anticans as soon as I did.  Given how big the largest map size is in the BOP mod's Large Map version, you'd expect the minor races to be a little more evenly spread out. 

Granted, there is a known bug, which -- despite the modders' most sincere efforts, they've been unable to fix -- sometimes causes minor races to be grouped to just one side of these extra-large maps, but that still doesn't entirely account for having run into two minors so quickly.  It's overall something of a bonus for me, though, so I'll not begrudge my good luck too much.  ;) 


The next chapter will mainly cover development and expansion, as I start to ramp up my research, make some massive improvements to the Sol system's infrastructure, and begin colonizing the surrounding region in earnest.  It's going to be a heady time for humanity; it reminds me a little of the United States during the late 19th century (minus the massive corruption and social/economic inequality).  :P 


Til next time!]
 

« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 05:03:13 AM by Martok »
"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

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Offline Martok

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2013, 08:44:38 AM »
Question: 


Banzai_Cat probably has a point about my including stuff like what I'm building (and why), what I'm researching (and why), etc.  What are your guys' feelings on this?  Is it helpful/enjoyable enough to be worth adding to the AAR?  Or is it too much of a distraction from the story/narrative to be worthwhile? 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2013, 09:00:32 AM »
I appreciate the nuts&bolts bits since I don't know the game very well. No need for minutia but some basics are helpful for when I decide to tackle the game myself. BTW, thanks for putting in the effort in making the AAR at all, regardless of how you end up doing it.
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Offline besilarius

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2013, 09:30:33 AM »
If it's important to the development of the game, then it should be mentioned or noted.  Otherwise we're missing a lot of what the drivers are.
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Offline Martok

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2013, 03:43:01 PM »
Chapter Three: One Small Step




Throughout all this excitement and activity, our scientists had not been idle.  It wasn't too long (just barely a year) before they'd made their first major breakthrough. 



[Unlocking Mass Replicator 2 in and of itself doesn't help me much, because in the BOP mod, major faction home systems (including Sol) "cheat" and start out with level 2 factories anyway. 

However...  Unlike in vanilla BOTF, in the BOP mod, tech breakthroughs provide a much bigger bonus than in the vanilla game (+25% versus +2% per tech level).  Thus, my Type 2 Mass Replicators in Sol will still get a notable boost to industrial production, which is particularly handy early on in the game.]





As significant as this achievement was, however, it was overshadowed by the location the Frontier Settlement Agency chose to establish our first extra-solar colony:  the star system of Prakal, located a few sectors to the west of Sol (and adjacent to the Anticans' home system). 

The choice was undeniably an...interesting one:  One might have (reasonably) thought the FSA would choose a star system that was a little closer to Sol, and/or possessed of more pleasant planets to live on (such as the Altec or Balosnee systems).  Instead, Prakal was on the furthest edge of (what was at the time) known space, and was composed entirely of "dry" planets -- there was not a single oceanic, jungle, or temperate world among them. 


However, the FSA did have their reasons for picking Prakal, and may have displayed far more foresight than they were given credit for (at least at the time):  First off, while none of that system's planets were especially pleasant, there were a good number of them, and they would (eventually) accommodate a large population -- an important consideration.  Second, it was actually *because* of Prakal's location at the edge of our current ship range that it possessed a certain appeal -- it would not only serve as an "early warning" outpost for any potentially hostile forces from that direction, but it could also eventually serve as a springboard for further exploration & colonization as well.  (Although Starfleet's design teams were still working on the concept, it was already being envisioned that some sort of supply base might be constructed at Prakal.) 

Third -- and it's since been implied this was the biggest reason for the FSA's decision -- Prakal's less-than-ideal environment meant any colony there would likely grow at only a modest pace...which was exactly what they desired for the time being:  Unlike the inhabited planets of our home system (who were close enough to directly participate in the United Earth government), extra-solar colonies would, as a practical matter, need to be able to govern themselves on an at least semi-autonomous basis; they were simply going to be too far from Sol for Earth to effectively provide the administrative duties necessary to the smooth running of a new colony. 

Given all that, the FSA felt it was best to give the first extra-solar colony a chance to learn how to govern itself...without the additional pressures of rapid population increase.  The lessons the Prakal government learned over the next few years could then be applied to other, newer colonies.  In many ways, Prakal would be an experiment, albeit on a grand scale. 


Despite initial grumbling, the FSA pressed on with its plan to colonize Prakal.  The Tinalynn was recalled to Earth, where -- despite its intended destination -- millions of people were eagerly waiting to embark.  After centuries of dreaming, humanity was finally about to begin colonizing the stars. 

Just a few months later, the Tinalynn reached Prakal and initiated the long process of terraforming the planets there for settlement.  (Incidentally, since it was -- temporarily, at least -- finished with its exploration & survey duties, the Sakai deployed to Prakal to patrol the system and be on hand to assist should any problems arise.)  Finally, after what seemed an interminable wait, the first humans established residency on an alien world.  Our great work had begun! 





[The Prakal colony.  As you can probably tell from looking at the system's planets, it's not exactly the most inviting place to live.  (There's a reason its growth rate is only 1.8%!)  Still, it can support a large population -- 410 million, once I get that second planet terraformed -- and it has a respectable 190% energy bonus. 

Currently, I can't build stuff in anything resembling a reasonable amount of time -- I have to keep my one population unit working in the Automated Farm to feed itself -- so I'm leaving the build queue empty for the moment (which produces Trade Goods by default).  Later, when Prakal's population increases to 20 million (at which point I'll get a second population unit), I'll put it to work in the Mass Replicator making stuff...like more Automated Farms and Mass Replicators.]


"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline Martok

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2013, 04:19:38 PM »
Chapter Four: The Path to Progress




Meanwhile, researchers at universities and scientific foundations around the globe continued their work.  In fact, they rather went on a tear... 



[Another difference between vanilla BOTF and the Balance of Power mod:  In BOP, you only need to research the next Computer tech to upgrade your research buildings (Universities for the Feds).  For that reason, it's generally the second tech I go for after Construction.]





[I suspect this may be a departure from the norm, but in BOP, I grab the first *two* tech levels in both Construction and Computers before I research anything else.  Of course, this comes at the cost of my delaying reaching other useful techs (most notably Biotech and Energy) that are especially handy early on, but I feel like the subsequent extra boost to industrial production and research is worth the trade-off. 

Having researched Construction 3, my factories not only get a 75% production bonus now (25% for each Construction tech), but I've unlocked an improved factory as well: Mass Replicator 3.  Once I've finished expanding the Sol system's infrastructure, upgrading its factories from Mass Rep 2's to Mass Rep 3's will be among my highest priorities.  Doing so will allow me to produce stuff -- including & especially ships -- significantly faster than I could otherwise.]






[Now we're starting to cook!  With the ability to upgrade to Type 3 Universities, I can conduct research at a relatively prodigious rate, even with research being limited (for the time being) to the Sol system. 

In addition, the Trade Center comes in mighty handy as well, especially once I get one built in every system I control.  After all, Cicero's classic maxim still holds true...]






[Now that I've gotten to both Con 3 and Comp 3, I've turned my research efforts to grabbing the next couple levels in BioTech.  Getting to BioTech 2 won't unlock anything, but as I mentioned earlier, it will still improve farm production (thus reducing the number of people I need to devote to working agriculture on my colonies).  In addition to increased food output on farms, BioTech 3 also unlocks two important food structures that really help kick-start early colony growth.]




With all the recent technological breakthroughs, the Sol system's infrastructure and economy is poised to receive a major shot in the arm.  Indeed, its leaders have the happy problem of deciding which major advance to incorporate first: 



[The Sol system's build queue now has a few more (and interesting) options added to it.  Like the good Federation "tech-whore" that I am, I opt to upgrade my Universities first.  :P  Following that, I'll build the Trade Center to increase my income. 

Important as it is, I usually hold off on upgrading my Mass Replicators right away.  Doing so takes forever, so when I can, I try to save up the money to just insta-build it in one turn.  There's usually enough stuff for me to construct in the meanwhile -- especially extra power plants (remember that I only started with a few) -- that by the time I finish building out my home system's basic infrastructure (factories, power plants, research labs, etc.), I have enough money saved to up to just purchase the factory upgrade outright.]





Amidst all this, however, something unexpected occurs... 



[My first random event! 

Fortunately, this one doesn't hurt me any, as I've not established a trade route with anyone yet.  Unless you're playing as the Ferengi, you need a Friendship treaty or better in order to trade with both major factions and minor races -- neither of which I have with the Pakleds or Anticans (who at this point are the only races I've met).]



The work stoppage initially caused some consternation, particularly among business leaders, but happily it was sorted out before very long, and (just as importantly) without causing major disgruntlement on either side of the dispute.  Still, it would be foolish to blithely assume such disruptions would never happen again in the future. 




Shortly afterward, our scientists produced yet another of their technological marvels: 



[More food for less work.  Yay!]




At about the same time, the Ministry for Development & Industry had (after a prolonged and often-contentious debate) successfully lobbied for funds to be devoted to a "crash-building" program for upgrading our main factory complexes.  To do so was enormously (if not horrifyingly) expensive, but it would significantly cut down on the time necessary to complete such a massive project -- one which everyone agreed was necessary, even critical, to our long-term goals of prosperity& expansion. 

There were many who were (quite understandably) vociferous in their opposition to this plan, as it involved massive government funds being diverted towards private enterprise.  The alternative, however, was a years-long project funded by the industry magnates alone; and it was even less palatable to the Sol system's population than the DI Minister's was. 



[Factory upgrades in BOTF take bloody forever to complete, or at least it feels like it; thus, I spend the cash to insta-build them as much as possible.  Doing so is very expensive, however (you can see that upgrading the Mass Replicators in Sol will eat up almost my entire existing cash reserves), so as a practical matter, I generally only insta-build factory upgrades in my home system and other major worlds. 

An interesting factoid for those unfamiliar with the game:  Somewhat unusually for 4x titles, buildings & ships in Birth of the Federation don't have a construction cost in terms of money (except, of course, for the aforementioned insta-build option), just industry points.  So you need not worry about how much something "costs" when considering whether or not to build it. 

Ships do have ongoing maintenance costs (a topic I'm saving for later), but nothing is deducted from your treasury for simply building them.]





With the factory complexes finally upgraded, and the area immediately surrounding Sol fully surveyed & cataloged, we could begin constructing colony ships with a will -- and we did.  Barely half a year later, construction was completed on the USS Petit, which, after picking up its complement of colonists, moved out for the Morikin system to our east (just beyond the Pakled homeworlds). 

However, further construction of the colonization fleet was temporarily suspended, as we achieved another (but more significant) technological breakthrough:



[Biotech 3, baby!  Thanks to some personal tweaks I made to the BOP mod, this is probably the single most important Biotech level you can reach when playing as the Federation (not that that was my goal, it just happened to work out that way). 

The reason why Bio 3 is a big deal is that in addition to the increased food production from existing farms, this tech level also unlocks the Aquaculture Center and Private Farm.  The former can be built by everyone (once researched), but only the Feds, Cardassians, & Ferengi have access to the latter in the BOP mod. 

If you have the money to insta-build them, both structures help a lot in new colonies, as they produce enough surplus food that you can take the one starting population unit (representing 10 million people) and put it into industry right away.  That may seem insignificant, but it actually makes a big difference in how quickly a new colony develops its infrastructure. 

And of course, they're still useful in older/more developed worlds as well.  The more food a system produces, the fewer people it needs working the farms, which means they can be transferred to other, more directly useful occupations (industry, research, etc.).]






[Aquaculture centers are cheap, can be constructed in any star system with an O-class (oceanic) planet, and provides that extra 60 food for no additional cost (i.e., it doesn't require population or energy to maintain it).]





[The Private Farm has no build restrictions (other than one per system), and it likewise requires no population or energy to operate.  The food bonus is obviously less, but that +1 morale bonus makes up for it.  It's admittedly more expensive than the Aquaculture Center, but it's still worth the extra cost.]


[Incidentally:  Thanks to Sol having upgraded to Type 3 Universities, new techs are coming thick and fast now.  Going forward, I'm going to only throw up screenies of research breakthroughs if they're especially significant (such as this one).]




The decision was made to promote a program of privately-run agriculture, and -- as a result of Starfleet virtually pleading that *something* be done for the Sol system's defense -- a series of bunker networks was ordered for construction as well.  This angered the settlement & expansion lobby, who felt it did not warrant or necessitate a suspension of colony ship construction, but the UE government stood firm in its assertion that the short delay would be worthwhile. 



[The Sol System build queue after my Biotech 3 breakthrough.  Embarrassingly, I simply forgot to build the Bunker Network earlier, so I quick threw it in after the Private Farm to get it out of the way.  Construction had already started on the colony ship at the top of the queue, so I didn't delete it, as doing so would've lost me the industry points already invested in it.  (And yes, I really am building ten more colony ships!) 

While I will continue to upgrade existing buildings (specifically, Mass Replicators, Databanks, & Universities) as upgrades become available via research breakthroughs, I've pretty much "maxed out" my infrastructure in the Sol system as far as I'm concerned.  I'll still be building "special" structures which provide various bonuses to research, intel, morale, etc. (these get unlocked throughout the game via research), but I'm essentially done building basic structures such as farms & factories.]



Fortunately for the tempers of the aforementioned settlement & expansion lobby -- and possibly their physical health as well(!) -- construction on (what would turn out to be) a veritable armada of colony ships quickly resumed.  For if the government was a little more cautious and less prone to running blindly headlong into this new era, they were still as eager as everyone else to go about the business of exploring the "final frontier".  Indeed, enthusiastic reports & letters from the inhabitants of the new Prakal settlement were already flooding the public information nets, and they were fanning the flames of colonization even hotter than before. 




A little over five years into this grand new era, we took some time to take stock of our strategic situation: 



[The map as of turn 54. 

Sol is horribly exposed with nothing to protect it.  Now granted, this is partially because I've been role-playing to an extent -- the slightly naive, almost blindly-optimistic Humans don't yet realize that the galaxy is as dangerous a place as it is wonderful -- but this should still be rectified.  Even Star Trek-era humans shouldn't be that oblivious to the possibility of hostile alien civilizations! 

You can see the Prakal colony over to the west, immediately adjacent to Antica.  (None of the minor races colonize outside their home system, so no worries about pissing off the Anticans.)  As my most valuable colony, the Sakai remains on guard/patrol duty there. 

To the east, the colony ship Petit (currently in the Pakled system) is just one turn away from its destination of Morikin.  Most of its planets are barren or arctic, but the Morikin system also has an M-class (Earth-like) planet and an L-class (jungle) planet, so that system will have a fairly decent growth rate when it's ready to go. 

Also to the east, I'm getting a little antsy about the Pakleds.  I've not see them build any ships yet, but when they do, they may or may not disrupt my expansion plans by shooting at my colony ships and troop transports (which are used to build starbases).  As soon as I have the cash, I gotta start sending them some, ah, foreign aid packages so they'll warm up to me.]






[The power graph can be misleading in some ways, but in this case it's probably close enough to the reality, which is that I'm *way* behind everyone else at the moment! 

I've long suspected this is partially because I spend the time to first develop the infrastructure in my home system, whereas the AI-controlled factions seem to start building vessels (including colony ships) right away.  This will indeed put them far in front of me for a while, but I'll begin catching up in a big way later on, thanks to my investing in Sol's infrastructure at the beginning.

Of course, the question is whether I can catch up soon enough.  If I'm still too far behind the other factions when I run into them, they won't hesitate to pounce, early and often!]





Overall, we were well-satisfied with the progress Humanity had made thus far.  To be sure, some people continued to grumble about various issues -- Starfleet was unhappy with (what they perceived as) Earth's vulnerability, certain libertarian elements and the the Treasury Ministry alike were less than thrilled with (what they perceived as) the government's "bailout" of heavy industry, and the colonization & expansion lobby *still* hadn't gotten over the brief cessation in shipbuilding activities -- but these were definitely the exception to the rule.  The future was bright...and it was only going to get better. 




[...Or so they think!  :P 


Sorry about the extreme length of this chapter; I honestly hadn't realized it had gotten so long until I tried to post it!  As it is, I still had to split it up into two parts so that it would fit inside the forum's post limit (hence why Chapter Three is rather short and ends somewhat abruptly).  I'll try to make future chapters a little more, ah, digestible.  (It should help that going forward, my entries should be noticeably more narrative-driven, and won't include nearly so much out-of-story exposition.)  ::)  ]


« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 04:21:42 PM by Martok »
"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline airboy

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2013, 06:40:38 AM »
Very interesting.

Original game ran in Windows 95/98.  What are you running the game on?

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2013, 09:45:38 AM »
Did anyone encounter the Borg as a random event? I never did, and I played tons of games of this.

Just found it again and waiting for time to install/try it out again. Good work on this thus far.

Offline mirth

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2013, 10:34:13 AM »
Very interesting.

Original game ran in Windows 95/98.  What are you running the game on?

I don't know about Martok, but I'm running it on XP. I haven't done much with it yet though. Just some of the tutorial stuff.
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline Martok

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2013, 11:48:22 AM »
Sorry for the lack of updates, by the way.  :-[  I've finally started working on the next entry, but due to my going on a mini-vacation this weekend (starting tomorrow morning when I get off work), I won't have it up til at least next week. 




Very interesting.

Original game ran in Windows 95/98.  What are you running the game on?

Thanks airboy.  As it happens, I have BOTF installed on both the XP and Win7 halves of my hard drive (it's split down the middle between the two).  I primarily play the game on the XP half of my computer, but it seems to run just fine on Win7 as well. 




Did anyone encounter the Borg as a random event? I never did, and I played tons of games of this.

Just found it again and waiting for time to install/try it out again. Good work on this thus far.

Thanks BC, glad you're enjoying it. 


As for the Borg, I can't say for sure why you've not encountered them.  However, it seems like the two most obvious explanations are: 

1.)  You're playing with Random Events turned off. 

2.)  You're winning too quickly for them to show up.  I've no idea what the standard/threshold actually is, but I believe all (surviving) factions have to have reached a certain level of development before the Borg appear.  So if you're beating the game before that threshold is reached (which is possible, depending on the settings & circumstances), then no you wouldn't necessarily see them. 


If/when you do run into the Borg, though, prepare to feel the pain, especially if you're playing the vanilla game (they tend to get at least moderately nerfed in most of the mods)!  If you bring less than 30-40 ships to fight them, it might not be enough...  ;D 




I haven't done much with it yet though. Just some of the tutorial stuff.

My only recommendation FTM is that when you start an actual game, to either play as the Federation or Ferengi.  Their money capabilities makes expansion a heck of a lot easier than it would be otherwise. 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2013, 01:32:33 PM »

As for the Borg, I can't say for sure why you've not encountered them.  However, it seems like the two most obvious explanations are: 

1.)  You're playing with Random Events turned off. 

2.)  You're winning too quickly for them to show up.  I've no idea what the standard/threshold actually is, but I believe all (surviving) factions have to have reached a certain level of development before the Borg appear.  So if you're beating the game before that threshold is reached (which is possible, depending on the settings & circumstances), then no you wouldn't necessarily see them. 

If/when you do run into the Borg, though, prepare to feel the pain, especially if you're playing the vanilla game (they tend to get at least moderately nerfed in most of the mods)!  If you bring less than 30-40 ships to fight them, it might not be enough...  ;D 


It was definitely the vanilla game. I always played with the Random Events on and would usually get hit by the pirated trade route ones, or the famine ones - never a good one, at least not that I remember!  :(

Where did you download the Balance of Power mod from? I see many sources out there; I'd prefer to get a trustworthy one. Forgive me please if you've already said where to download this.

Offline mirth

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2013, 02:11:01 PM »
If/when you do run into the Borg, though, prepare to feel the pain, especially if you're playing the vanilla game (they tend to get at least moderately nerfed in most of the mods)!  If you bring less than 30-40 ships to fight them, it might not be enough...  ;D 

Just like Wolf 359.
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus

Offline mirth

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2013, 02:14:52 PM »
Where did you download the Balance of Power mod from? I see many sources out there; I'd prefer to get a trustworthy one. Forgive me please if you've already said where to download this.

This is the place for the mods:

http://www.armadafleetcommand.com/botf/

Martok has a good discussion thread for BotF going here:

http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=6832.msg170830#msg170830
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2013, 02:40:12 PM »
Thanks, mirth!